Christmas Moon

If you could travel to any place and time, where would you go?  I’m betting it wouldn’t be to a lonely mountain cabin in the 1870’s, with a Wyoming blizzard raging outside.  You especially wouldn’t go there if you were nine months pregnant and on the verge of starting labor.

But what if the love of your life was waiting there for you – a man who needed you as much as you needed him?

That’s the premise of my new Time Travel book, CHRISTMAS MOON, now available in both electronic and paperback editions.  Last month I wasn’t sure about the paperback version, but I just got my copies in the mail, and I’ll be giving one away to the winner of my drawing. 

Anything can happen under a Christmas Moon…

Pregnant, unwed and down on her luck, history teacher Emma Carlyle is facing the worst Christmas of her life.  Needing some research for her master’s thesis on legendary Wyoming lawman J.D. McNulty, she makes a Christmas Eve drive to South Pass City, where J.D. was buried.  Heading home, she loses her way in a storm.  After her car vanishes, she ends up in 1871, half-frozen, on the doorstep of a remote mountain cabin.  When J.D. himself opens the door with a pistol in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other…well, let’s just say that sparks start flying.  These two lost souls are clearly meant for each other.  But there’s one problem.  Emma has studied everything about J.D.–and she knows he has only a few weeks to live.

Just for fun, here’s a short excerpt.  This one tells what happens when J.D. opens his door and sees Emma for the first time.

            The woman on J.D.’s porch looked as if she’d just staggered out of a nightmare.  She was wild-eyed and tarnally spooked, gripping a stick of kindling as if she wanted to bash in his face.  The fact that she was dressed like some kind of Chinaman, in sagging black trousers and an enormous, puffy green silk coat, only added to J.D.’s befuddlement.  What lunatic asylum had this female escaped from?

            “Easy, now, lady.”  J.D. kept the Colt leveled at her collar bone, but mostly for show.  “Put that stick down, and I’ll take my itchy finger off this trigger.”

            Slowly and shakily she lowered her arm.  He could see now that she was half-dead from cold and exhaustion.  Her lips were the color of laundry bluing and her hair was plastered around her face in frozen strings.  She was swaying on her feet like a drunkard.

            J.D. cursed under his breath.  He’d been looking forward to a peaceful night with his books, the old tomcat and a bottle of the finest rotgut whiskey in Glory Gulch.  Maybe if he drank enough of the stuff, he might even forget it was Christmas Eve.

Now his plans were blown to hell.  He wouldn’t have minded female company of the soft and willing variety.  But this woman didn’t strike him as the sporting kind, and it appeared he was stuck with her.  The devil himself wouldn’t close the door and leave her outside to freeze.

Muttering words unfit for a lady’s ears, he eased off the hammer and laid the Colt on the bookshelf.  “Well don’t just stand there.  Come on inside.  And don’t expect any apologies for my state of undress.  I wasn’t expecting company.”

The kindling stick clattered to the porch as she dragged herself across the threshold.  She was tall for a woman, with a body that appeared too stout for her heart-shaped face.  But maybe that was because of the coat.  Her eyes, when she looked up at him, were the warm, translucent brown of sarsaparilla on a sunny day.  They were staring at him as if she’d just seen Abraham Lincoln’s ghost.

Her chilled lips worked in an effort to speak.  “Where…am I?”

J.D. bolted the door behind her.  “Glory Gulch, Wyoming.  The upper edge of it, at least.  Main part of town’s further down the canyon.”

“Glory Gulch?”  Her eyes widened.  “People are living here?”

“A few score, maybe, most of us down on our luck.  Not like the old days before the gold played out.” J.D. bit down hard on his cheroot as a new thought struck him.  “Any other folks out there with you?  Any of your family lost in the storm?”  He didn’t relish searching in a blizzard but if there were other travelers with the woman, he’d rather find them alive tonight than dead tomorrow.

Distrust flickered across her face, and he realized she’d misread him.  “Oh, there’ll be plenty of people looking for me by morning—police on snowmobiles, maybe even a helicopter or two.  As long as they find me safe, there’ll be no trouble for you.”

J.D. shook his head.  The woman was touched for sure.  “You’re talking gibberish, lady.  Sit down and have a whiskey.  Maybe it’ll bring you around.”

He turned toward the hearth, where he’d set the jug next to the cat’s favorite warming spot.  She stopped him with a touch on his arm.  Her fingers were like icicles through his sleeve.

“Tell me one thing.”  She was staring up at him, her wild, scared doe’s eyes searching his face.  “Who are you?  What’s your name?”

“McNulty, for whatever it’s worth to you.  J.D. McNulty.”

Her eyes widened for an instant.  Then the pupils rolled back in her head and she swayed to one side. J.D. lunged, catching her as she went down in a dead faint.

You’ll find a longer excerpt and a purchase link on my website, www.elizabethlaneauthor.com.  Now for the fun part.  I’ll be giving away a paperback edition of CHRISTMAS MOON to one reader who posts today.  Any international winner will receive an electronic (PDF) version.  Good luck to all!

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I'm an internationally published romance author, coming up on 40 novels and novellas. Most of my stories have been Westerns for Harlequin Historicals, but I set stories in other times and places as well. I'll also be writing contemporary stories for Harlequin Desire, with the first release in January 2013. You can learn more on my web site.

43 thoughts on “Christmas Moon”

  1. Yes, I think I’d go somewhere warmer. I’m not much for the cold. I love holiday stories and time travel so I know I’ll like this book. I can’t wait to read it.

  2. Oh,I just love Christmas books,an this one looks like a really good one,I read them all year long to keep that toasty feeling going,thanks for the post an the chance to win

  3. Across the Great Divide was one of our family’s favorite movies. It was such a challenge moving West but the pristine beauty made the trek worthwhile. I’d love to have seen the country before all the roads and buildings were built. Imagine the clean air,the forests,the wildlife, the quiet!

    I know it would have been very difficult to get out to the West coast but that’s where I would have wanted to go. The freedom! Woman were admired and respected. They were needed!

    Loved the excerpt. Emma landing on troubled JD’s front porch… YES! Christmas is definitely the time for miracles. I’d love to find out how they save each other in Christmas Moon!

  4. Definitely a wonderful combo of themes I love.

    Can’t believe we are almost moving into the Christmas season…

    Put me in for the book!

    peace, Julie

  5. Hi Elizabeth,
    I love time travel. And I love Christmas. This book looks like a fantastic read, and I’m anxious to see how you resolve it so they can have their HEA! LOL Gorgeous cover, too. It makes me want to pick it up and read it just from the cover. Thanks for sharing that excerpt–this just looks great!
    Cheryl

  6. Wow, you ladies are early birds! It’s 6:30 here in Mountain Time and I’m just starting my day. Thanks for your posts, Linda, Cathy, Vickie, Laurie, Julie and Cheryl. Hope those of you who read my book will love it as much as I do.

    I’ll be in and out today but will check in when I’m here. Good luck to all of you on the drawing.

  7. Oh – just wanted to explain one thing. When JD opens the door, he’s wearing faded red long johns. I’m well aware that one-piece long underwear wasn’t worn in the 1870’s. But this book is a fantasy, and the image of JD in this intriguing getup was too delicious to resist. My apologies to the historical purists among you.
    Hugs to all.

  8. I’m glad to know this is coming out is paperback. I like to hold a book in my hands. I read all your books and am looking forward to The Widowed Bride.

  9. Elizabeth, That cover stole my breath. It is beyond beautiful and the story sounds wonderful. You did the impossible! You made me think, “Snow would be kind of nice right now . . .”

  10. I read the excerpt when you first posted about this book. I love that this one picked up where the last left of. I love time travel books. Having a holiday theme always makes them special. I wonder how we would really react if something like this happened to us. If we had no connections to the present, would we want to stay in another time and place? If we found the love of our life, would we want to give up the modern conveniences and advancements? If there was an option, stay in the past or bring him forward where he may feel out of place and unprepared to be part of a world he knows little about? Will an alpha hero feel diminished if he is not able to fulfill the role of provider and protector and must rely on the woman to be his guide and provider?
    Lots of questions that I am sure you considered when writing CHRISTMAS MOON. I’ll have to add this to my Christmas collection. Nice cover.
    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  11. I remember reading the premise when you posted earlier and thought it sounded wonderful. I’m so glad the paperback version is now available. I would love to be entered for a chance to win.

    Who wouldn’t want to travel back in time to meet such a hunky lawman?

  12. I am captivated with this wonderful book. The excerpt was great. Time travel has always appealed to me. thanks and congratulations on this release.

  13. I like the experience of cabin-living in the summer but don’t think the wintertime holds much interest for me.
    It’s a wonder the pioneering woman survived. Boy they went through some hardships, didn’t they?
    The books sounds really good and I will add it to my list.

  14. Good Morning, Almost 8:00 in the West!
    I am glad to know Time Travel is not dead. I love it, as it seems a lot of you do. So, Christmas Moon is on my list. I love the picture. The excerpt got me going for today. I’ll think about it all day, now.

  15. I have been so looking forward to reading this book!!! I love Time Travel romance, and since I live in Wyoming, it is the perfect setting for me.
    I wish more publisher’s allowed author’s to write Time Travel romances. I love the cover and the excerpt, thank you for sharing with us.

  16. Back with you after an absence. Thanks to Rebekah E, Minna, Goldie, Phyliss, Vicki, Patsy, Patricia B, Karen, Pearl, Joye, Mary J, Tracy, Crystal and Sharon who posted while I was out. So glad you’re interested in this book.

    I had no input into the cover. It’s just a stock photo someone on the design team found. But when I saw it, it took my breath away. That’s JD’s cabin! And the moonlight on the snow…sigh. It says Christmas and mystery and romance. I absolutely love it.

  17. Elizabeth, congratulations again on the new release. And if I needed one more reason to read the copy I ordered from Amazon this excerpt would push me over the edge. Wow! Great beginning. I can’t wait to see how you end the story. I hope J.D. and Emma get their happily ever after. Bet they will though. But getting it will be lots of fun reading.

    I’m wishing you lots of success, Filly sister!

  18. Elizabeth,
    Time travels are some of my favorites! Coupled with Christmas! Great idea. The realization point when the traveler knows they’ve travelled through time is always fun. Can’t wait to read it!

  19. Hi Elizabeth,

    I always love your post. Congrats on new release. I love the excerpt.
    I would love to live in a cabin It is so beautiful. The Cover of Christmas Moon is just breathtaking.

    Hope to win,

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  20. Thanks, Linda, Tanya and Melinda. And yes, Emma and JD do get their happy ending. But how it comes about may surprise you.

    For those who don’t have a Kindle but would still rather read the electronic version. Amazon now has a free downloadable Kindle app for P.C. I haven’t tried it but Amazon did email me about it. Has anybody tried it?

  21. Hi Elizabeth,
    I never thought I would care for time travel, but you just changed my mind. I guess I just haven’t been traveling to the right time and place. One of my favorite fantasies is to be snowbound in a mountain cabin (with a toasty warm fire in the fireplace, of course!)
    What a great excerpt! I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

  22. Oh Elizabeth, this book sounds so good! After reading this excerpt, I would like to time travel right into Emma’s shoes. I guess I will have to “settle” for reading the story! 😉

  23. Congratulations on this amazing novel. Time travel is something that transports me literally and figuratively to another realm and this is what is special. A time and place that I could discover and live through. Especially during the olden days as they used to say. 1930’s to 1940’s.

  24. Thanks for dropping by, Judy, Cheryl and Ellie.
    I share your snowbound fantasy Judy, complete with a man like JD. And believe me, Cheryl, you wouldn’t want to be in Emma’s shoes all the time (like having a baby with no one to deliver it but a swearing, whiskey swilling man).

    Ellie, you must be young. I actually remember some of those “olden days” you mentioned.
    🙂

  25. I ordered your book a couple of weeks ago from Amazon & I loved it! Loved the western setting, the time travel, the Christmas time frame. Hope you write more like this!!

    It’s a keeper for me!

  26. I haven’t read many, but I truly love time travels. The characters have so much to learn (and of course I get to learn to at the same time) about extremely different everything – except falling in love – that’s universal lol. Now is the perfect time to be reading anything Christmas.

  27. You read it already, Trish! Hey, so glad you liked it.

    I love Time Travels too Catslady. Wish editors would understand how many people do.

    Leaving again for a while. But I’ll come back and do the drawing before bedtime, so if you haven’t signed up, please do. Thanks for all your nice comments.

  28. Elizabeth, I saw it listed on the “releases” at “Love Western Romances”. I fell in love with the cover & read the synopsis. I had to have it! Don’t have a kindle or ebook, so ordered the paperback from Amazon. Glad I did, because the cover makes me start to daydream! LOL

  29. It has been a while since I have picked up a Time Travel book… thank you for sharing the excerpt with us! Sounds great!!!

  30. Back with you again. Thanks to Estella, Linda C, Colleen, Connie, and Loretta. You’re in the drawing.

    Trish, it’s so fun to hear how you came to get the book. Carol gave it such a nice review on LWR. Glad you enjoyed.

    Tanya thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the story.

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